Two Nigerians have been arrested in New Delhi, India, for their involvement in a fraud worth over Rs 4.5 lakh (N2.5 million).

 

They are members of a gang that has cheated more than 35 women looking for "bridegrooms for second marriage through matrimony sites," according to the police in India. 

The police have launched a manhunt to apprehend other members of the gang, the HINDU reports. 

 

The two, Paulinus Chikeluo, 31, and Cletus Ikechukwu, 23, were said to be members of a Nigerian gang which defrauded women through a matrimony portal by posing as prospective bridegrooms.

 

They were arrested in New Delhi on September 3 for duping a woman doctor in the city with one of them posing as a doctor based in the Netherlands using a fake profile.

 

The 45-year-old woman doctor of Perambur is separated from her husband and lives with her mother and 11-year-old son.

 

She decided to remarry and registered on a popular matrimony site in February. The fraudsters made her transfer ₹4.5 lakh under the pretext of sending a gift parcel and demanded money for air travel of the bridegroom and so on.

 

During investigation, it was found that the accused had created fake profiles on a matrimony website. They operated four bank accounts, three Indian mobile numbers and a few foreign phone numbers for committing the offences, and swindled ₹4.5 lakh.

 

The police said the accused obtained SIM cards by misusing identity documents of others. The mobile phone subscriber’s address details were found to be fake but the calls from the mobile numbers were traced to Uttam Nagar in New Delhi.

 

On analysing CCTV footage, one was identified as a Nigerian national. 

 

Subsequently, the police arrested Chikeluo and Ikechukwu who were staying in New Delhi.

 

A senior police officer said, “We interrogated the accused after taking them into custody and analysed their call records and cash transactions, besides data stored on laptops. Our investigation revealed that apart from these two, more persons are involved in the matrimony fraud. The gang has cheated more than 35 women who were looking for bridegrooms for second marriage through matrimony sites. We have launched a hunt to nab the remaining accused.”

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